UW-La Crosse Senior hopes to make riding the bus a chance to learn about history

Published: Sep. 14, 2017 at 6:27 PM CDT
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What started out as a class project last fall for UW-La Crosse senior Rebekah Bain has turned into much more.

Bain was tasked by her Intro to Public and Policy History Professor Jennifer Trost to add a part of history to a public area as a class project.

Bain says she regularly rides the city bus from campus to downtown and noticed that people were typically looking at their phones- when they could be learning about history.

With help from professors, she decided to put signs inside the buses.

"She then applied for a research grant to get the money to pay for those posters, to pay herself to do the research over the summer in the archives and she worked with another colleague on that professor Beaujot, so Rebekah has done a lot," said Trost.

Bain says she devoted quite a lot of time to the project, which came to her last year in class. She said Professor Trost told her to pursue the idea and try and make it become a reality.

Her original idea was to put pamphlets at the bus stops for people to take on the bus, but decided the signs would draw more attention.

The idea to put the trivia on the bus was based off Poems on the Underground, where in 1986 in London poems were placed on the walls in train carriages for people to read while they commuted.

One last party had to be involved in this, the Transit Department, and that's when Trost says Bain went to Interim Transit Manager of La Crosse MTU James Krueger Jr.

"Rebekah and her professor approached us earlier this spring about doing a project to highlight some of the history of transportation in our area. Being the transit system we agreed to have the marquee signs put on our buses as a part of her project," said Krueger Jr.

Last Friday the signs went up in all twenty of the La Crosse MTU buses and will stay there until next spring.